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Senator Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment

Media Release

New Australian Move on Greenhouse

18 July 1996

Australia has taken a significant step forward in its efforts to reduce global emissions of greenhouse gases.

Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill has announced a pilot program aimed at promoting joint projects between Australia and developing countries to assist in reducing greenhouse

The concept of 'Activities Implemented Jointly' (AIJ) involves one country undertaking or becoming involved in emissions reduction projects with other countries. Under the AIJ concept "investing" countries contribute to emission reductions within "host" countries.

Senator Hill says the pilot AIJ project will build on Australia's strong commitment to limiting domestic greenhouse omissions

"We have come to the Second Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Climate Change with a positive attitude.

"We understand the international concern about the implications of global warming. We understand our responsibilities in assisting the global effort to greenhouse gas emissions. What we are seeking to do is to contribute to that global effort in a realistic and practical manner.

"Our pilot AIJ project will be industry driven and will have a strong focus on the developing economies of the Asia Pacific region. By using our technology and expertise to help them contain and reduce their greenhouse emissions we will be making a positive contribution to the global (Wort.

"In the long term we would be seeking credit from the international community for our effort.

"The project would provide a win for the developing nation, a win for Australian business in the Asia Pacific, and, most importantly, a win for the global environment.

"At the same time we will be continuing our domestic efforts to reduce greenhouse gases through voluntary agreements with industry, improved energy efficiency, sustainable energy policies and the largest vegetation initiative in Australia's history."

Senator Hill has used his Ministerial Statement to the conference to highlight Australia's substantial efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

"The latest figures show that Australia's greenhouse gas emissions increased by just 0.6% per annum from 1990-1994. Our performance in limiting greenhouse gas emissions has been comparable if not better than many OECD nations.

"Our achievements in energy efficiency in key industrial sectors rank with the best in the world.

"We are not walking away from our commitment to the Framework Convention on Climate Change.

"What we are saying is that the parties to the Convention must be realistic about the magnitude of the emission reduction task. Most OECD countries are having difficulty returning to 1990 levels. This reflects the scale and nature of the task.

"The completion of that task will only be feasible if the solutions proposed are realistic and sustainable and deal wish the differences that exist between the economies of the member parties.

"Our government, like others, has the obligation to safeguard the economic interests of its citizens and to foster sustainable economic development as it plays its role in the Convention.

"We also argue that it is pointless to curtail the efficient activities of sectors such as our coal and beef industries if they are only to be replaced by less efficient practices in other nations. The end result would in fact be 2 global negative for greenhouse limitation efforts."

Senator Hill says Australia would continue its efforts to seek an equitable and effective long term response to reducing greenhouse gas emissions,

For copies of the Ministerial Statement contact Senator Hill's Office on 06 277 7640.

For further comment contact Matt Brown through the Australian Permanent Mission in Geneva on 41 22 918 2900.

Commonwealth of Australia